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IMPD officers found not guilty for May 2020 excessive force arrests

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Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-09 08:53:11-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Two IMPD officers have been found not guilty for their involvement in an excessive force incident during a May 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Indianapolis.

IMPD Officers Jonathan Horlock and Nathaniel Schauwecker faced felony charges after they arrested two women, Ivore Westfield and Rachel Harding, on May 31, 2020.

A video of the arrest of one of the women went viral online after the incident where officers can be seen repressing a woman with batons and pepper bullets. The video also shows another woman being pushed to the ground by officers before she was apprehended.

Westfield and Harding have since filed a lawsuit against the officers. However, the officer's attorney, John Kautzman, says the men did what they are trained to do.

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Early Saturday morning, a jury found both officers not guilty of four charges.

Horlock faced the following charges:

  • Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury
  • Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
  • Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury
  • Perjury
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Official Misconduct

Schauwecker faced the following charges:

  • Battery by Means of a Deadly Weapon
  • Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
  • Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury
  • Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury
  • Official Misconduct
  • Official Misconduct

The Indy Fraternal Order of Police released the following statement on the verdict:

“After five days of trial and 10+ hours of deliberations, we are grateful for the jury’s verdict of Not Guilty on 8 of the charges. The jury reached an impasse on the 4 remaining charges which resulted in a mistrial on those counts. We are grateful the jury was guided by the facts of this case and the law. After 3 and a half years, we believe the residents of Marion County made clear through this jury, it is time to put this chapter behind us as a community. We must continue to work to improve our police department and now move forward. We support the continued collaboration between the IMPD, community partners and various stakeholders to constantly improve the training of our officers while ensuring proper accountability for both our police professionals and the community members they serve throughout our capital city.”

Indy FOP